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From Medieval Latin disciplinarius, from Latin disciplina (instruction, teaching, field of study, habit).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪsɪˈplɪnəɹi/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈdɪs.ə.pləˌnɛɹi/
  • (file)


disciplinary (comparative more disciplinary, superlative most disciplinary)

  1. Having to do with discipline, or with the imposition of discipline.
    Debt can motivate or act as a disciplinary force for executives to achieve organizational efficiency.
  2. For the purpose of imposing punishment.
    The school has announced that it will take disciplinary measures against the students who participated in the protest activities.
  3. Of or relating to an academic field of study.
    • 2012 January, Stephen Ledoux, “Behaviorism at 100”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 1, page 60:
      Becoming more aware of the progress that scientists have made on behavioral fronts can reduce the risk that other natural scientists will resort to mystical agential accounts when they exceed the limits of their own disciplinary training.
    We hope that psychologists will applaud good studies of scientific behavior and thought regardless of the disciplinary specialty of the author.

Derived terms[edit]


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disciplinary (plural disciplinaries)

  1. A disciplinary action.